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Abadi: Mosul battle to end before new year

Abadi added that ISIS organization has lost the motive and the courage to resume fighting Iraqi forces

Published: Updated:

Although the international coalition thinks the Mosul offensive will take a long time, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said he expects they will regain control of Mosul before the end of the year.

Abadi added that ISIS organization has lost the motive and the courage to resume fighting Iraqi forces.

He denied any demographic changes in the zones which they restored in Iraq.

His statements come after joint forces, aided by the coalition’s air force, deterred an ISIS attack on the towns of al-Sada and Bawiza, north of Mosul.

According to official sources in Nineveh, Iraqi forces clashed with ISIS in al-Sada’s and Bawiza’s surroundings and inflicted heavy losses on them.

Saladin governor said Iraqi forces restored some towns in the al-Shirqat district on the other front of the Tigris river, adding that they also besieged other towns as part of their military operations which were launched to expel extremists from the left coast of Shirqat.

Meanwhile, a coalition spokesperson said on Tuesday that the battle to restore Mosul and liberate it from ISIS entered “a very difficult phase” in the past few weeks, adding that the battles’ pace will escalate if Iraqi forces enter the city from the north and the south.

John Dorian, an air force colonel and a spokesperson of the coalition supporting Iraqi troops, told Reuters from Baghdad that the situation is currently very difficult.

“ISIS has been present in the city for two years and during this time it’s been able to build very strong defenses and store weapons and resources which can be used now to complicate progress,” he said.

Dorian was referring to extremists’ use of booby-trapped cars and civilians as human shields.

*This article can be viewed in Arabic on AlArabiya.net